Denver officials want to save struggling cannabis delivery businesses

Denver officials want to save struggling cannabis delivery businesses
Denver Post

Weed delivery has yet to catch on in Denver, but government officials are pushing dispensaries to drop their resistance to save the transporter businesses of marginalized entrepreneurs. “Delivery has not taken off in the way that we had hoped that it would,” said Molly Duplechian, Excise and Licenses Department director. “We’re hearing that they’re struggling.” At a marijuana industry check-in meeting on Tuesday, the department proposed a bill that would permanently limit store deliveries to licensed transporters owned by social-equity applicants. Stores wouldn’t be allowed to do their own delivery. If Denver City Council approves it, the new policy would replace the current three-year exclusivity period for social-equity applicants that lasts until July 1, 2024. “Honestly, I think some businesses were waiting it out,” Duplechian said, hoping this move will serve as a signal to them. “If you’re going to get into delivery, you have to work with a social-equity transporter.” She intends to put the proposal before council next month and anticipates support. The policy giving social-equity applicants exclusive access to both medical and retail marijuana manufacturing and transporter licenses would remain until July 1, 2027. Right now, only 18 store locations out of more than 200 in Denver have obtained delivery permits to use any of the 16 licensed transporters, according to data by the Excise and Licenses Department. Delivery still isn’t popular in the Mile High City for myriad reasons, including economic factors, consumer habits and easy access to dispensaries, Duplechian said. However, “it requires industry participation and industry partnerships that we have not seen,” she said. “A lot of consumers don’t even know it’s an option.” Michael Diaz-Rivera, owner and operator of Better Days Delivery Co., described the proposal as “a great help.” A social-equity transporter himself, he launched his company last year, and has partnered…

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